06/24/14 by Holly Clifford
Stand up comedy has given the entertainment community a multitude of legendary performers, some of which stayed strong and true to their original craft while others moved on to the bright lights of the silver screen or television to rave reviews.
From Richard Pryor to George Carlin, Lewis Black to Jerry Seinfeld and anyone else that revolutionized the art of telling jokes on stage and changed the landscape of stand up comedy, this art form is one that takes practice, wit, charisma and truly having your pulse on anything from pop culture to politics or the little things that make us laugh.
Like any profession, however, not everyone is destined to be great or memorable but instead average and forgettable. Stand up comedy is an interesting profession in that you don't necessarily have to be funny to the masses to have successful career. Plenty of stand up comedians elicit nothing more than the proverbial groan and eye roll just when their names are mentioned, yet these same men and women are wildly rich, famous and continue to draw exceptionally well, even if they vary from unwatchable to flat out annoying.
And, in some cases, they're incredibly unoriginal.
1. Dane Cook: He's played to 15,000 fans on various stand up specials, and the crowds seem to really enjoy his humor. But after a few years and rumors that he stole material from fellow comedians, most notably Louis C.K., Cook and his appeal wore thin and eventually tapered off to epic proportions. He's still part of the comedy circuit to some degree, but he's nowhere near as popular as he was circa 2006-2007, when he actually landed some fairly noteworthy movie roles.
2. Jeff Dunham: A puppet act? Seriously. Who thinks this is funny? Obviously, the answer is someone since Dunham is knee deep in puppets and plenty of cash, along with cable companies giving this goof one special after another. His act is terrible and is the type of television you put on when you can't fall asleep at 4 in the morning.
3. Larry The Cable Guy: Not only does his catch phrase make your skin crawl, but he's never actually told a joke that is funny. Why is a cable guy funny, by the way. If George Carlin gets high praise for being the kind of comic that is intellectual and focuses on language and the human race to a perfect pitch, Larry the Cable Guy is bottom of the barrel stuff. He makes redneck jokes and developed a persona that is the kind of guy you look at and make fun of; you know like laughing at him, not with him. No one has any interest in doing either with Larry.
4. Gallagher: In what other job can you get famous and make millions of dollars as a sub par prop comic whose claim to fame was smashing watermelon for a living? Gallagher didn't really make jokes per say but rather used oversized couches and sledgehammers to smash fruit as his idea of comedy. Just plain awful.
5. Jay Leno: The two time host of "The Tonight Show" once was described as a favorite comedian of Johnny Carson. Not sure why after watching Leno for the last few decades. His humor consists of unfunny one liners, and his later work on "The Tonight Show" grated on nerves and viewers, particularly when he ousted Conan O'Brien out of a job.
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